A DS67 Away Mission Report
by Lance R. Casey
During the summer of 2003, I received an e-mail from the president of the local Trek association,
DQT, containing a message from
Stockholm Trekkers, who wanted some input on a planned Swedish
Star Trek convention a thitherto unknown event. That survey resulted in
SweCon 2004, a three-day convention in Stockholm, Sweden,
with an extensive science-fiction program leaning heavily towards Star Trek.
Provided that the pricing was to be reasonable, I had more or less decided to attend right from the start. When the event began to draw near, I found myself involved in the organizing as well, as a oh yes Klingon consultant. Here, then, is the story:
I had arrived in Uppsala, the home of Zrajm C Akfohg from
Klingonska Akademien, the night before.
We had been enlisted to hold a number of Klingon-related events during the convention, so we thought it prudent to meet first.
Extensive speaking and discussing of the Klingon language ensued; even though we probably can be bold enough to label ourselves skilled,
speaking and hearing Klingon takes some getting used to, but once one gets going, it's a blast.
A palpable result of my visit was the realization of a fully functional Klingon Scrabble game. Zrajm had gotten hold of the pieces list at a qep'a', and now the thing was finally made. The game proved to be quite playable, even though the "vowel sickness" sometimes was pressing there are no Klingon words which start with a vowel, and very few end in one, so if you've only got vowels, you're fairly screwed. We did manage, however, to play the game through, leaving only one piece unplaced (and we had even forgotten to include the two blanks!).
Through a highly hurried sequence of events, I managed to get from Uppsala to Stockholm central station,
from the central station to a suburb subway station, from the subway station to lasertomten's residence,
from the hallway to the shower, from the shower to the clean-clothes-bag, and finally via a number of transportational means to the site of the convention
pretty much in time for the launch at 17:00.
No rest, however; the first Klingon language course (of six) was scheduled for 17:30. Zrajm handled that mostly by himself, but I sat in on it to observe. It turned out that the interest for those lessons was huge, and the preset limit of three persons per class was reached at high warp. We then decided to badger the hosts for additional time slots, which were finally granted by ways of absorbing some of the spacetime region freed by a late cancellation. The more Klingons, the... uh... more honorable.
Following this, at 19:00, the official opening of the convention took place, presenting the guests of honor: Tim Russ, M. John Harrison and Dave Lally (the participation of Jeffrey Combs had unfortunately been postponed due to economical reasons).
|Tim Russ outside||John Harrison inside||John Harrison inside again|
|Dave Lally inside||Tim Russ inside||Tim Russ inside again|
The second day started, for our part, with a debate entitled Det ojämlika Star Trek
("The nonequal Star Trek"), which aimed to bring to the front the instances where our beloved show,
despite the ever-present IDIC ethic, arguably fails to deliver equalitarian views. This premise was debated from several views,
including hetero/homo, male/female, human/alien and rich/poor. Needless to say, the outfit of Seven of Nine
found its way into the discussion, wherein one of the panelists wondered why, when she is so efficiency-oriented,
she's running around in high heels!
|Equality panel||Equality panel again|
Argument ensued. The panel also noted that there has been a trend lately in science-fiction, both written and otherwise,
to employ living ships one prime example being Farscape.
Lots of debates today; the next one was Vart är Enterprise på väg? ("Where is Enterprise going?"), for which the subject ought to be obvious. Many different opinions were offered, most of which were variations of the theme "Enterprise is a good series, but..."; there did not seem to be any outright haters of the show in the room, and the general expectance regarding season 4 came across as positive. Suggestions for what should have been done, what should not have been done and what ought to be done next were put forward, and the panel agreed that, yes, Enterprise should also get a fifth season. Additionally, the future of the franchise itself was discussed and the audience was invited to provide ideas for new installments. These included time-cops (think Captain Braxton), mini-series series [sic] of various alien cultures and Starfleet Academy (an idea I personally find dreadful, but which did get quite a lot of support).
|Living spaceships panel||Enterprise panel|
|Flash + smoke = bad idea||Manual settings = good idea||Oh, right; Tim Russ on stage|
|Tim Russ on stage again||Yep, here too||Once again...|
|...and again...||...and yet again!||(Care to take a guess?)|
A piece of one of the songs
Some talk + another song excerpt
Even more talk + music
Another song bit
What a promise!
Can't get enough...
From a somewhat different song
Change of style again
Hmm, reminds me of CCR...
DISC-LAMER: C'mon, would you seriously consider these very-low-quality things bootlegs?
I mean, what kind of a moron would actually prefer these highly partial (!) files to buying the CD?
Go buy the CD. It's worth it, I can tell you.
Tim Russ was delayed to the early photo/signing session, so
lasertomten and I just, as the kids say, chilled out a bit. Then, however,
we managed to get together with Moha, who was attending the convention's last day.
While my two companions went off to acquire certain goods at different locations, I promptly walked off to the lecture called Relativitetsteori, och möjligheter att resa i tiden ("Relativity, and possibilities of time-travel"). The speaker concluded that, yes, it is entirely possible to travel through time under current physics if you do it in the forward direction. Anyone with some understanding of relativity and specifically time dilation will know why. Conversely, it is also theoretically possible to go back in time, utilizing wormholes although there are immense practical obstacles. Still, while we "cannae break the laws of physics, capt'n", TT as such is not ruled out by our present knowledge (neither is FTL, for that matter). No real news for me, but interesting nonetheless.
Having been rejoined by Moha, we went back to the signing area, just in time for the next photo session, and lo!, suddenly we got to shake hands with a smiling Tim Russ in front of a professional camera. We may now claim full Trekker-ness by virtue of owning signed photos of ourselves sharing a bench with a Star Trek actor...
|Relativity/TT lecture||Signed publicity picture||Tim Russ & me + my ticket|
|Worst sf movie panel||Fusion lecture|
|Interviewer and interviewee||Talkative||"Um, tough question..."|
|Previous colleagues||"Once upon a time..."||Genevieve Bujold in the back|
|Standing up for himself...||Reading aloud from his parody||Is that fan mail?|
About growing up and his relation to his parents
About supporting himself as a fledgling actor
About working on Star Trek: Generations with William Shatner
About working on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in the episode 6x18 - Starship Mine
About Genevieve Bujold, originally cast as Janeway (laughter due to a picture of Margaret Thatcher mistakenly [?] shown)
About Ethan Phillips, who had passed on a greeting calling Tim a "gas-bag"
Cast list of the Starship Voyeur, a Star Trek: Voyager parody written by Tim himself
Excerpt from the above-mentioned parody
About Jolene Blalock as a Vulcan
"Don't you ever tire of doing this?"
Some other things Tim spoke about, as I remember (feel free to extend/amend!):
Finally, there was the official closing ceremony, in which the organizing party thanked themselves,
us and the guests of honor.
|Tim Russ at the signing table||Tim Russ thanked||John Harrison thanked|
|Moha, Lance and lasertomten, in all their glory|
(note the package of O'boy in the background!)
SweCon 2004 was, by all accounts, a very nice experience.
The contrast to Creation Entertainment's
huge get togethers (the first European of which lasertomten, Jim Profit
and I visited early last year) was quite apparent and, I must say, quite refreshing.
The guests certainly seemed to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, too. Good job, ladies and gentlemen
(and distinctive members of transgendered species)!
Now, next year's SweCon seems to again be veering away from Star Trek, but there were hints regarding a reprise of this convention type in 2006, again hosted by Stockholm Trekkers. So, see you there!